Did your boss send you to this blog to try and turn you into an employee advocate? Don’t worry, we’ll make it worth your while. Employee advocacy is when a workforce promotes their organization, most commonly over social media. It’s been known to give companies major benefits, ranging from ad savings and improved brand sentiment to employee retention and increased leads.
If your organization has an employee advocacy program, they probably told you to get on board because it’s great for the company—and whatever is great for the company is great for you, etc, etc. But you’re probably still on the fence because, let’s be honest, it’s yet another thing piled on top of your already full plate. What do you get out of sharing company-approved social media posts anyway, right?
It turns out, quite a bit.
For employees, it’s more than just an indication of your engagement. Becoming an employee advocate can help with your personal and professional growth as well.
Because sharing content through an employee advocacy platform is so effortless, it helps you flex your social sharing muscles and build your confidence if social media doesn’t come naturally.
No more second-guessing what you share or what you write; you can just post away knowing it’s all been prepped for you. Then, once you’ve gotten a better feel for the platform, you can spread your wings and fly.
Almost half of respondents (47.2%) in a study on employee advocacy by the Hinge Research Institute discovered that it gave them opportunities to develop skills in high demand.
Do you spend your free time scouring the internet for breaking news about your industry? If yes, you can probably skip to the next point. But if not, it’s safe to assume that other people at your company do. Organizations like to be the first to learn things and report about them; it positions them as insiders.
And one of the ways companies typically share new industry developments is through their employee advocacy program.
By taking part in it, not only are you helping your organization spread the word, you’re also staying on top of the latest trends with very little effort. After all, nothing beats opening an employee advocacy platform like Hootsuite Amplify that lets you learn new things as they happen.
For people who participate in employee advocacy programs, it’s a top motivator. More than three-quarters (76%) of people who share their employer’s content on social media say they do it to keep up with industry trends, according to Hinge.
Just like your company, sharing noteworthy posts on social media establishes your credibility. Without having to carve out your own time to research, write, and schedule your own content (although that’s always highly encouraged), you’re able to share posts that are relevant, informative, and already vetted. If you can put your own spin on it, even better.
This is especially handy if you’re a salesperson building your personal brand online. It shows off your knowledge and expertise to your professional network, while making you more visible to potential clients.
By sharing company-approved content, you’re setting yourself apart from disengaged industry practitioners—and you can probably guess which of you will be tapped for professional partnerships in the future. You never know, that next shared post could be the gateway for your future TED Talk.
Speaking of professional partnerships, 87% of respondents said an expanded professional network was a key benefit of becoming an employee advocate. Strangers on LinkedIn won’t be throwing random DMs at you anymore—they might actually have a substantial entry point: The posts you share from your company’s employee advocacy program.
People who are drawn to these posts are more likely to start meaningful conversations. It also becomes easier for you to build rapport. A recent study found that people were more likely to trust a person like themselves and a company technical expert (61% and 68% respectively) than a CEO (47%).
Sharing company posts demonstrates to potential customers and contacts that you are one of them, while also showing off your insider knowledge. They help you attract the right people and develop fruitful relationships with them.
With a beacon for substantial connections in the form of pre-approved company posts, you’re also increasing your chances of building strong leads that result in tangible returns.
In fact, 44% of people who consider themselves employee advocates report generating new revenue streams as a result of sharing company posts, according to Hinge.
These create a direct line between employee advocacy and social selling—even without actively trying to sell.
As such, you’re not simply positioning yourself as a thought leader or making yourself available to a wider audience. You’re potentially sealing the deal on new leads, nurturing relationships that can help with retention, and boosting your (and your company’s) bottom line.
Time and again, studies have shown that feeling a sense of belonging in the workplace correlates with higher employee satisfaction and productivity. But feeling a sense of belonging isn’t limited to liking your core team or enjoying company outings. Actually believing in your company plays a big factor too.
When you support and promote your company’s goals and initiatives through employee advocacy, you’re raising awareness for the important work that you do. This helps you feel more connected to what your company is about—beyond numbers and quotas. It helps give you a sense of higher purpose, rather than just grinding it out for the sake of it.
You have more power than you think. With social media, gone are the days of being just a cog in the machine. You’re the fuel that keeps things running.
Branded content has 561% more reach when shared by employees than through branded channels, according to Gartner. Suddenly, employees have the power to make or break their companies with a single tweet.
And we all know what Spiderman’s uncle said: With a significant amount of power comes a significant amount of influence… or something like that.
When you make meaningful contributions towards a shared goal by becoming an employee advocate, you become more than a worker. You become an active collaborator. Your company’s success is your success, because you had a direct hand in it.
A Glassdoor study found that 79% of job applicants use social media when checking out potential employers. Social posts give them a better idea of how their values align and how they can fit in with a company’s culture. And posts from current employees are the best gauge for employee sentiment.
When you participate in an employee advocacy program, your shared posts help attract the right kind of people to your company. Just as it’s a beacon for strong leads, it can be a beacon for people with the same values too.
— Leila Postner (She/Her) (@leilapostner) July 9, 2021
Behind the scenes, formal employee advocacy programs usually have people dedicated to building content and tracking employee buy-in. In addition, these posts usually focus on company wins, which many of your coworkers put a lot of time and energy into. Give them all a shoutout by sharing the posts they craft, publicly amplifying their accomplishments, and making sure their work doesn’t go unnoticed. A little employee solidarity can go a long way.
All these create a domino effect that positively impacts your work environment. When new hires have a better understanding of what a company is all about and are fully on-board, and current employees feel seen and valued, it becomes a more productive and collaborative workplace.
It’s risk-free, so what have you got to lose? Legalities are one of the biggest concerns when it comes to employees posting on social media. “Is this against company policy? Does this breach my contract? Could this potentially lead to a lawsuit?” Participating in an employee advocacy program eliminates all those worries.
Company-approved content means whatever you share has been given the green light by the right people internally. It also gives you the option to simply share the post and its pre-made caption, or tweak it to suit your voice. The flexibility can be very freeing, without putting too much pressure on the sharer.
When all is said and done, participating in your company’s employee advocacy program and becoming an advocate doesn’t take much effort. Open your advocacy platform, share a post or two, and reap all the benefits of your work.
Learn how Hootsuite Amplify helps organizations and employees like you expand your reach and grow your presence on social.
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